Foreign ministers of G7 countries and the EU issued a joint statement condemning the Russian annexation of Crimea, Ukraine's Black Sea peninsula, on the 7th anniversary of illegal occupation.
The G7 Foreign Ministers of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States of America and the High Representative of the European Union condemned “Russia’s continued actions to undermine Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence” on Thursday.
"Today, seven years after Russia’s illegitimate and illegal annexation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the City of Sevastopol, we reaffirm our unwavering support for and commitment to the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine within its internationally recognised borders," reads the statement.
The diplomats "unequivocally denounced" Russia’s temporary occupation of Crimea and reiterated that Russia’s attempts to legitimise the occupation "are not, and will not, be recognised."
"We condemn Russia’s violations of human rights on the peninsula, particularly of Crimean Tatars. We call on Russia to respect its international obligations, allow access to international monitors, and to immediately release all those who are unjustly detained."
The ministers also welcomed Ukraine’s initiative to establish an International Crimean Platform to consolidate the international community’s efforts on Crimea.
As noted, the G7 Foreign Ministers firmly oppose Russia’s continued destabilisation of Ukraine in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions and disregarding of the commitments it made under the Minsk agreements.
According to the statement, The G7 remains fully committed to the implementation of sanctions and will continue to stand with Ukraine in support of its independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognised borders.
The joint statement of G7 Foreign ministers and the high representative of the EU concluded by hailing, "Crimea is Ukraine."
The Group of Seven countries, previously the G-8, included Russia until its membership was suspended in 2014 over its annexation of Crimea in Ukraine.
G7 members oppose Russia’s return to the G7 until the end of the annexation of Crimea and aggression in Donbas.